Saturday, 27 February 2016

Nice day for a white wedding

I haven't done an outfit post for a while purely because... well I haven't been wearing anything worth photographing! Most of what I've been wearing lately has either been an outfit from this post, jeans and a jumper or running clothes. It's been so cold lately!
But on Friday I finally got a chance to get all dressed up to go to the wedding of one of my oldest friends! 
dress - ASOS
jacket - Quiz
shoes - M&S
I struggled for a while with what to wear - February is a tricky month, and I didn't want to go too wintery, but I also knew it would be too cold to go summer-y! I'd actually seen this dress months ago on Atlantic Pacific and couldn't believe it when it was down from £75 to just £25! I actually panicked and bought it in two sizes just in case the price went back up and it ended up being the perfect thing to wear with a furry jacket and nude heels. And of course, some bright pink lipstick (this is MAC's Girl About Town).
Jenny and Mike's wedding was absolutely beautiful and the bride looked incredible. I had to hold it together when she walked down the aisle because I had a reading to do! It was actually really funny - my friend Kayleigh and I didn't have copies of our readings and only realised they weren't going to be at the lectern when we saw other people going up with pieces of paper! Luckily, Kayleigh had pockets in her dress so we sneaked her phone up to the altar and read the prayers off her iPhone! Thankfully when we relayed the story nobody had noticed!
The reception was at Styal Lodge which was a gorgeous wooden, well, lodge, which they had decorated with fairy lights. It was absolutely beautiful. The food was amazing, the DJ was great and we had a really wonderful time. 

Here are some Instagram snaps I took:

I was planning to try to get Phil in a few of these outfit photos, but as he's 6 foot 5 I couldn't get my camera simultaneously tall enough without showing all of the rubbish on our bookshelf! He looked pretty dapper himself though.
Today has been pretty chilled! I considered parkrun for about 30 seconds this morning but that definitely would not have been pretty! Phil and I went to see a mortage advisor (!) this morning which was very informative, although we won't be looking to buy a house until next year, ran some errands and then we've spent the afternoon relaxing. 
Tonight we're off out for Greek food, then tomorrow is running and football!

Hope your weekend is going well!

Charlotte x

Monday, 22 February 2016

Use more, buy less update

You might remember just over a month ago I posted about my goal to Use More, Buy Less over the next few months, so I thought it would be nice to do a bit of an update!

The good news is I've done surprisingly well! I think with having my Birthday coming up next month I've added anything I wanted to buy straight to my Birthday list, and as January and February have been expensive (in January Phil and I went to Dublin for four days, and Phil's birthday is next week so I've been buying him presents this month) I've not really had the urge to spend additional money.

I haven't really "treated myself" to much over the last few months, except for two black dresses. One was bought for £20 in the Collectif sale, and one was £13 in the Lindy Bop sale, and they weren't only bargains but "classics". 

(I haven't tried the Lindy Bop one on yet because it arrived today, but here is the Collectif one)

Anyway! Let's have a look at the goals I set and how I got on:

Cook at least 2 recipes a week from my recipe books, and no new recipe books!

Prior to this challenge, all of my recipe books were upstairs and well, I'm a bit lazy, so they were quite accessible enough for meal planning so I got out of the habit of going through them. But it's all change thanks to this challenge!
I brought some of favourites downstairs and now solely use them for my meal planning. Most weeks I've cooked at least three things out of them!
Here's what I've made so far...

Top row: Baked falafel (Appetite for Reduction), 40 clove broccoli and chickpeas (Appetite for Reduction), Tamarind Lentils (Veganomicon), Chandra Malai Kofta (Isa Does it)
Second row: Carrot rice paella (Inspiralized), Upside down shepherd's pie (Appetite for Reduction), Samosa stuffed potatoes (Veganomicon), Dilly stew (Isa Does it)
Third row: Chickpa Piccata (Appetite for Reduction), Indian spiced cod with Dal (Simply Nigella), Enchiladas (Thug Kitchen), Pizza bowl (Isa Does it)
Fourth row: Thai chilli (Isa Does it), Sweet potato beanie bake (Innocent cookbook)

The more I started using my recipe books the more inspired I've become, and I love sitting down with a recipe book and flicking through. 

I almost caved when the 10th anniversary edition of Vegan with a Vengeance was £11 on ebay, but in the end asked my Mum to buy it for me for my birthday (but I can't have it til then!). I don't count that as cheating! I do have six new recipe books on my birthday list, though...

I do still cook from blogs and Pinterest, but I've definitely been going to my books for inspiration first, and I've been reading the Post Punk Kitchen forums a lot for inspiration on what to cook next, which has led me to recipes, such as the chickpea piccata, which I might not have tried.

Read books that I already own either physically or on Kindle

I've only read three books since posting this challenge but two were from the library, one I already owned and one was a Kindle book I already had. My next three reads are books I've borrowed from a friend. I almost caved on this one a few times I have to admit!

No new nail polishes til I have used at least half of the ones I have

I've been actively avoiding looking at nail polishes! I'm going to write a post soon about finding my holy grail basecoat, which means I can now keep nail polish on for three whole days (!). This means I don't need to paint my nails quite as much so don't need such a variety of colours!

No new makeup that resembles anything I already have

I came reallllly close to breaking this one a week or so ago when I decided I really, really wanted a new MAC lipstick, and tried to justify it with "well I have £20 Christmas money left." I really wanted Velvet Teddy, despite having a really good dupe, and also the Whirl liner to go with it, or a really good dupe. I even went to Boots to try on lip liners (!) and if they had had the one I wanted in stock I would have caved. I then added Velvet Teddy and Whirl onto my Birthday list and nearly bought Kinda Sexy! Thankfully, I managed to stop myself, and instead have been wearing two lipsticks I totally forgot I had - a Revlon dupe of Velvet Teddy and MAC's Faux. I reckon I can wait til my birthday for new lipsticks!

MAC Faux and Revlon Mauve it Over

No new DVDs til Phil has watched 10 of his unwatched DVDs

We nearly caved on this too! So far, however, we haven't bought any new DVDs for over a month! We've mostly been watching the DVDs we already have and Netflix, which is good because we have hundreds of DVDs.

Have you been trying to use more and buy less? How have you been getting on?

Charlotte x

Monday, 15 February 2016

Galentine's Weekend

This weekend was pretty bloody lovely.

On Saturday I headed over to run my 50th parkrun! I've been hoping to get to this milestone since my first parkrun back in August 2013. I was actually a little bit emotional, especially after asking the Run Director if I could have a shout out (he did and everyone clapped!). In two and a half years I've gone from running a 5K in 38:39 to a PB of 27:13, and I remember going to parkrun in Bramhall on my own nearly every weekend for over a year and not knowing anyone but just recognising a few faces and feeling part of a family, even though I never spoke to anyone. I've felt that even more at my home course of South Manchester and I really love that sense of community there.
50 runs means I get a tshirt which is pretty exciting too!
After doing the food shop and getting ready I went to my friend Riven's Galentine's Party! Now if you're not a Parks and Recreation fan like me you might be thinking, "what on earth is Galentine's Day?!" Let's have Queen Knope explain:

So on Saturday a group of us from work went to Riven's house for a day of delicious food, cocktails and a celebration of women! Riven baked quiches, cupcakes, cheesy scones, biscuits and rolls, and made pesto and whipped cheese for the occasion, as well as a cocktail from a teapot!
We also had a little gift exchange - each lady brought along a £5 gift and we had a bit of "secret santa" with Riven distributing the gifts, and she made each of us a pair of earrings, which Amy and I wrapped and added Leslie Knope compliments to the tags.
I brought my camera for a change because I don't feel like I practice my photography enough, and I knew there would be nice things to take photos of!

It was such a lovely afternoon - the food and drink was all amazing and we got to meet some of Riven's other friends, and it was so nice to have a girly dress up day!
Afterwards Phil picked me up and we went to his parents' to celebrate his Mum's birthday, but I was too full to enjoy any of the takeaway they ordered! I had room for some birthday cake of course...
On Sunday I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose and had a real sulk about going out for my 3 hour run. I nearly turned around after 3 miles, but decided to suck it up and keep going, and I'm glad I did! 17 miles is really, really far though. I ended up running out of water, and I had to stop in Tesco to use the toilet which I've never had to do before!
When I got home Phil hadn't just tidied the flat but bought me roses. It was such a lovely surprise! We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day - Phil's birthday is in two weeks anyway, so we just got each other cards. We didn't have a very romantic day - we watched the Liverpool game, then I went home for a nap while Phil watched more football and I cooked us a not-very-romantic shepherd's pie!

Hope your weekend was equally lovely!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 7 February 2016

I put my new shoes on and suddenly everything is right

Nope, not me for a change! Here is a story of selflessness, that came and bit me on the bum (see: no selfless good deed). A few weeks ago Jones Bootmakers got in touch about collaborating and I looked around at my tiny, over-stuffed flat which is bursting at the seams, and at the three pairs of boots which I wear in rotation and said "do you do menswear?". I knew the last thing I needed was another pair of boots, but I knew someone who would really love a pair of new shoes.

As it turned out, in the process of the collaboration discussions, Phil got a new job, and suddenly rather than a nice pair of winter boots he decided this would be the perfect opportunity to get some new smart shoes. So he was really, really excited when his new shoes arrived. They were perfect, and exactly what he needed, as his current pair of smart shoes ripped his feet to shreds last time, and his new ones have lovely spongey padding inside which Phil describes as "like a hug for my feet" (direct quote). 

So all was well until we were in Dublin and in the middle of a bar I realised that the bottom of the heel of my go-to black boots was coming off in one big piece. And spent the rest of the evening hobbling round on a broken boot. And desperately regretting letting Phil have new shoes instead.
I really wanted to take these photos outside but it was gross and drizzly outside last Sunday when I wanted to take them, and after my 15 mile run I was too exhausted to put on any actual clothes to go anywhere. We ended up trying our building's lobby but they were absolutely awful, so in the end we ended up back in the flat! I had such cool ideas of a grungy Manchester backdrop but it wasn't meant to be! Maybe next time!
jumper - River Island
jacket - TK Maxx
jeans - Next

So Phil starts his new job tomorrow which is very exciting! He was at his last job for five years so it's going to be a big change but we're both really excited for him to have a new challenge. I spent yesterday in London catching up with my best friends and accidentally meeting Gary Lineker so we're having a pretty quiet one today. I went out for 13 miles this morning and I've done my cooking for the day so I'm looking forward to a nice afternoon on the sofa. Last week I was so exhausted after my 15 mile run that I ended up completely crashing in the afternoon and we had to order pizza for dinner because I couldn't move to cook!
Speaking of running, I've set up my sponsorship page for my marathon, so if you want to donate you can do so here! Thanks so much!

Have a lovely week!